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Blockchain AIM 2020: blockchain for supply chain and fighting the pandemic

Future of Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management 2021

At the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Congress 2020 in Dubai, CEO Arman Sarhaddar spoke about the future of Blockchain technology for supply chains in the fight against COVID-19. You can watch the #AIMDigital video below.

It is no secret, that Supply Chain Management became a challenge during the pandemic: Supply Chains were disrupted and many other problems occurred. But these issues showed once more the potential of Blockchain Technology.

We need to take action, but people are afraid of change… So, what can we say about Blockchain 2021? And how can we build trust in Blockchain technology?

Blockchain AIM 2020: blockchain for supply chain and fighting the pandemic

Blockchain technology in supply chain management: At the Annual Investment Meeting #AIMDigital 2000, Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and founder of Vault Security Systems AG, appeared alongside speakers from renowned companies such as Siemens, Microsoft, Pfizer, General Electric, Philips, Agility, Cigna Insurance, Hyperledger and many more.


1. Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management

 

In October, Arman Sarhaddar, the inventor of ivault, was personally invited by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to speak at #AIMDigital 2020.

In this article you will find a summary of his impressive speech “Future of Blockchain and its Impact on Supply Chain and fighting the Pandemic”. We will also provide you with further information about the topic.

The Annual Investment Meeting is a special event for technological innovations and interested investors from all around the world. We were honored to have this great chance to be heard and to connect with new partners.

Here you can watch the video recording of the transmission on October 21, 2020:

 

2. Challenges in Supply Chain Management

 

The pandemic has forced us to make changes in many areas. But above all, COVID-19, truly a catalyst of digitalization, forces us to be open to these changes.

To understand the impact of COVID-19, Arman takes one step back first: to the time before the pandemic.

For several years pre-COVID, consumers have already been more and more concerned with quality, sustainability and climate impact of products. For example, more people buy regional and organic food. Certifications, quality assurances and supply chain in general, has become a topic for consumers.

Mainly, production conditions help consumers to evaluate products in concrete terms. Thus, a lack of supply chain transparency can also have a negative impact on their purchasing decision.

However, seals and certificates only partially fulfill consumers’ wishes for more transparency. Sometimes even certified products were not up to standards, for example in regard to organic certifications. Thus, governments are now establishing frameworks to dictate to companies quality requirements, which are slowly becoming more popular.

 

3. Impact of COVID-19 on Blockchain

 

At the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, the shortcomings of many supply chains were exposed.

There were many serious disruptions, for example in the supply of food. Supply bottlenecks in the pharmaceutical sector also became more serious.

Consumer behavior and regulations created challenges and requirements. And so did COVID. COVID-19 has created many problems, but also opportunities for change. As bad as the pandemic was and still is, these problems give companies the opportunity to revise processes and tackle inefficiencies.

This is exactly where Blockchain technology can help:

It provides platforms for the transmission and data exchange with the highest reliability and cybersecurity (#InfoSec). It provides platforms for process optimization and automatizations. And it can make different systems interoperable, to work together in a much more efficient way.

Undoubtfully, the digitalization, which is still far behind in many industries, has been fueled by the pandemic in all sectors. COVID-19 has boosted the realization of the immense potential of Blockchain technology.

The grave disruptions many businesses encountered made it obvious that there is a need for the implementation of such innovative solutions for supply chain management.

Arzneimittelfälschungen-Coronavirus

Blockchain technology against counterfeit drugs on the Internet: In the pandemic, more pharmaceutical products are ordered online. With ivault, the end consumer himself can perform a simple authenticity check with any conventional smartphone to ensure that a purchased product is an original.

 

4. The Future of Blockchain technology

 

Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind, for supply chain management and optimization, Blockchain technology is not enough on its own. It can provide astonishing links, connections and integrations.

But to use the full potential of Blockchain technology, we need 3 things:

  1. to provide standards in data integration and exchange,
  2. to meet transparency and privacy requirements of companies, clients and regulators, for example with permissioned systems, and
  3. to connect Blockchain with other technologies, such as NFC, GPS, etc.

Thus, at Vault Security Systems AG, we are combining permissioned blockchains with technologies such as NFC, RFID, GNSS, GPS. Working with permissioned blockchains meets all requirements:

  • Companies decide what and how much to disclose.
  • Clients can rely on privacy.
  • Regulations can be met without compromising security.

When speaking about building trust, what ivault for supply chain management provides, is: A secure ledger for data exchange, where companies can decide what they want to share with each other, and with everyone else, while the data companies decide to keep private is encrypted with the best available security.

P.S. If you would like to learn more about ivault, please read our article about our news from Silicon Valley: CIO Applications rates ivault among the Top 10 Blockchain Solutions of 2020.

Besides Supply Chain Management, there are many other areas of application for Blockchain technology. In the pandemic, healthcare is another focus of the Blockchain pioneers.

Blockchain could have prevented, what just happened in Finnland: According to CNN, patients have been blackmailed after their sensitive health data, namely psychotherapy records, were stolen by hackers.

Following Dr. Efrat Shefer (Philips), Jerome Droesch (Cigna Insurance) and Sinan Atlig (Pfizer) for example, who, along with CEO Arman Sarhaddar, also acted as #AIMDigital Speakers, the pandemic accelerates the adoption of new technologies in healthcare as well. Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Blockchain play a central role.

Fälschungsschutz Blockchain Supply Chain 2020

Blockchain 2021: The general public’s confidence in Blockchain technology will increase dramatically once end users see Blockchain in their everyday lives. In the supermarket. In the pharmacy. At the doctor’s. Or at home. The question is not if, but when it will happen.

 

5. Outlook: Building trust in Blockchain 2021

 

Despite all this, a large number of companies are still struggling. What is holding them back?

One of the main problems is the lack of trust in Blockchain technology. A lot of people (and decision makers) are afraid of change. They are reluctant to implement new technologies that they cannot fully grasp.

Blockchain technology is still seen in connection with cryptocurrencies and FinTech. However, today’s Blockchain solutions like our product ivault are more energy efficient, sustainable and scalable than the old algorithms of some cryptocurrencies. Furthermore our Blockchain app is GDPR compliant.

What many companies do not know is how easy it is to implement Blockchain technology: It can be added to an existing Supply Chain Management system. Established processes do not have to be reinvented from the bottom, but can be retained and optimized using Blockchain technology.

In order to strengthen the confidence of companies, decision makers have to be more educated about the advantages of Blockchain technology. They do not have to understand every technical detail.

These advantages can be summarized in 3 core statements:

  • Blockchain means increased efficiency in various areas.
  • Blockchain brings information security at the highest level.
  • Blockchain is a clear competitive advantage – especially, for those who act fast…

On the other hand, public trust will significantly increase when end users see Blockchain in their everyday life. Online and offline. In banking or trading applications. In certificates for quality, origin and production conditions of everyday consumer goods such as food.

In the supermarket. In the pharmacy. At the family doctor. At home.

The question is not if, but when  it will happen.

 

P.S. Here is the Thank You Letter, we received from Dubai a few days ago – along with an invitation to join the Annual Investment Meeting again next year. We are looking forward to seeing you there in 2021!

Annual Investment Meeting Thank You Letter for Speaker Arman Sarhaddar

Annual Investment Meeting 2020: Thank You Letter for Speaker Arman Sarhaddar, inventor of the Blockchain app ivault.

 

Blockchain: ivault at World Economic Forum 2019

Why should a startup company like Vault Security Systems AG attend WEF? If you read the general information, you will probably conclude, like we did, that there is no way we can spend that amount of cash on what amounts to a conference:

Membership and partnership fees range from CHF60,000 to CHF600,000 depending on the level of engagement. Most types of membership include the opportunity to participate in the Annual Meeting for the CEO of the company, although Davos participation incurs a fee over and above membership or partnership fees. (see Forum site)

CEO Arman Sarhaddar and COO Urs E. Gattiker with Jessica Walker talking about the iVAULT Blockchain on TV

CEO Arman Sarhaddar and COO Urs E. Gattiker with Jessica Walker talking about the ivault Blockchain on TV.

 

What it costs to attend WEF

 

The Swiss government also points out in some detail how much the WEF Davos costs. Incidentally, getting a ticket may cost more than CHF27,000 after you have paid your partnership fees. But there is even a badge hierarchy in Davos.

  1. White Badge – gets you everywhere and costs a minimum of CHF27,000, plus the membership and partnership fees your company pays… if you are a young global leader or academic you have a chance to get in for free, but do not hold your breath.
    Of course, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Prince William of the United Kingdom get in for free.
    But we’re not bitter about that or anything. Honest.
  2. Dark Blue – means you are a permanent WEF employee,
  3. Light Blue – means you are a temporary WEF employee,
  4. Orange – means you are a media person,
  5. Violet –  technical expert,
  6. Red – you are a driver,
  7. Green – you are part of a government delegation,
  8. Brown – the hotel badge (you are a guest at a hotel, and have paid CHF100 to WEF for a security check, in addition to paying the hotel for your room, of course).

This year part of our team scored an invite and had a chance to visit the World Economic Forum. Of course, there was no way it was a White Badge. After all, that would have cost us more than a start-up like could ever afford, and there’s no way we could expect our investors to cough up that kind of cash. Still, we got to a few events, and it was certainly worth the trouble and time it took.

iVAULT @WEFDavos 2019: The Vault Security Systems AG team enjoying the ride to one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. Fantastic View!

ivault @ WEFDavos 2019: The Vault Security Systems AG team enjoying the ride to one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. Fantastic View!

By the way, as in past years, climate change was an issue at this year’s WEF – naturally. Although we did not attend any of those sessions, we did our part by having the team use public transit, including taking the train to and from Davos. In Davos itself, we took the WEF shuttle or walked from one venue to the next.

Was it worth it?

 

We were so excited to be there and have a chat with so many inspiring minds, but only time will tell whether the return on investment is enough. For instance, we were only able to attend one day, but simply didn’t have more time to hang around. Plus, it’s a bit early to come to any definitive conclusions. Nevertheless, it was pretty cool.

For starters, this must be the only place where I can meet Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and exchange a few words with him on the way to the restroom, right after he visited with Jair Bolsenaro, Brazil’s president (he also met the Swiss president). In fact, the Swiss government calculated that its president and ministers saved at least 60 days in travel and thousands of air miles thanks to attending Davos. What the Swiss government does not tell you is that at Davos you can informally meet some people, that you might have a hard time meeting through official channels.We know the drill, the agenda is full, the timing is off, etc. In Davos, you ight just bump into someone.

Our bar-side chat with JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon was interesting. His advice to us was to take it easy and spend most of our time hanging out with people outside the convention center. Even for him, non-official events are a chance to meet people he might otherwise not come across so easily – like us, for instance 🙂

VSSAG's Danyele Boland with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, and patent attorney John Moetteli

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, and patent attorney John Moetteli from Da Vinci Partners LLC.

I had another great encounter with Alison Tarditi, Chief Investment Officer of Australia’s Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation. She needed a chair to sit down in order to change from her winter boots to high heels, and I offered mine at the restaurant. That started a good six-minute (at least) conversation, during which she shared something interesting:

Living Down Under makes the WEF a great place to meet fellow investment officers and pension experts from around the globe.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Francis Gurry made a smilar comment. He feels the event gives him a chance to meet national patent experts, and legal minds, but also the opportunity to hear from business people and regulators about their concerns regarding property rights, and of course, patents.

VSSAG's CEO Arman, COO Urs, and WIPO director general Francis Gurry exchanged business cards after having a chat

CEO Arman, COO Urs, and WIPO director general Francis Gurry exchanged business cards after having a chat.

What about blockchain?

 

Of course, hanging out with the famous crowd (see above) is one thing, but the reason we went is to learn more about blockchain developments. We wanted to meet our friends, foes, and some competitors as well as possible investors. Most cybersecurity related get togethers at Davos happened at unofficial events, which have sprouted up everywhere. There is even an app, called Davos X, to help you navigate the unofficial schedule. For instance, the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) hosts a five-day side event. Such events include on-stage interviews, panels, coffee breaks for networking, and so forth. We did not attend GBBC events during our one-day visit to WEF Davos 2019. So many events, so little time…

Naturally, since one main focus of this year’s event was cybersecurity, there were plenty of unofficial events to attend. We even ended up at an event where we met Damir Yandrich, chairman of LedgerState. Funny story: our CEO Arman Sarhaddar was starving when he go to this event, and had a cup of soup (he said it was great). At which point Damir approached us, and informed Arman he was getting a bit of a head start on eating. It turns out that Damir was the initiator and one of the sponsors of this event, and we had some GREAT conversations. He introduced us to plenty of other interesting folks and he was a great host, of course. Thank you Damir!

Shortly after getting myself introduced to some folks I came to be speaking with Jessica Walker from bloxlive.tv. She was trying to set up another interview and also talking to Cecily Mak, a venture partner at ConsenSys blockchain studio. Jessica has plenty of social skills and appears to be a great networker. In no time at all, she had convinced myself and our CEO to agree to being interviewed by her. Proof of this is the cover picture.

It was kind of a Q&A session, including such topics as:

  • Q: What is ivault’s business focus?
    A: Helping companies manage their supply chain better.
  • Q: Which part of my business will benefit first from blockchain technology?
    A: By fighting counterfeit products, your supply chain benefits first.
  • Q: Where does ivault make a difference?
    A: Accelerating transactions and the supply chain by combining database management, encryption and distributed computing.
  • Plus, a few other things…

After one of the panels finished, I had about three minutes to talk to Linda Pawczuk, principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP (time is usually short and you have to try hard to make a good impression 🙂 ). Linda is the leader of the Deloitte US Financial Services Industry Blockchain group. Among other things, she is responsible for Deloitte’s worldwide annual survey about blockchain firms and developments. She gave a really great statement about the state of the industry in her two-minute introduction during the panel she participated on.

Another nice and very human encounter I had was with Charlie Smith (Business Development, reserve.org). He was worried about having to be on stage and his hair not looking perfect, but he did a nice job of entertaining the audience – as much as one can when talking about a technical subject that includes cybersecurity, and cryptocurrency in particular.

It was a pleasure to meet EST CAPITAL AG’s Sindhu Bhaskar, as well. He invited us to the launch event of his new bank on Friday afternoon. Since we could not attend, we will have to meet with Sindhu the week after Davos to explore our ideas further. But our paths might not have crossed so quickly without the WEF.

Attending #WEF19 Davos: Was it worth it?

 

I can gladly give a preliminary YES. During the day it was a bit overwhelming and after 18:00 hours I started to feel sensory overload. I was getting afraid I could no longer remember all the people I had met once back at the office… you know, looking at a business card and drawing a blank?

One person who stuck in my mind was Tom Trowbridge from the Hedera Hashgraph platform. We talked to him in the hallway about the advantages and disadvantages of distributed computing. Most interesting, was hearing from Tom how his platform’s development work had focused on eliminating some weaknesses we experience with public blockchains (e.g., mining, energy consumption, etc.).

I also talked to Houmin Yan, the dean of the college of business at City University of Hong Kong, one of those academics that got a free pass to attend WEF. Talking to him informally was very interesting… but that is for another time. Needless to say, his supply chain insights were revealing to me…

If I am given the chance, I will most definitely go again, maybe Tuesday and Thursday next year… If you cannot stay there (most hotels are fully booked and even if you find one, they are very expensive), I would again use public transit to get to and from Davos.

What’s your opinion about the World Economic Forum? Have you ever attended a WEF event? How do you use such events to network and benefit your business? What tips could you give a start-up to get the most out of such an event? Tell us all about it, we’d love to hear your story! We will respond to your comment in no time.

 

Oh, and here is another picture with Arman Sarhaddar and Bibop G. Gresta, Co-Founder and current Chairman of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), after we met him a second time and had another cheerful chat at the bar.

WEF 2019 visitors Arman Sarhaddar, CEO ofVault Security Systems AG, and Entrepreneur Bibop Gresta, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

WEF 2019 visitors Arman Sarhaddar, CEO ofVault Security Systems AG, and Entrepreneur Bibop Gresta, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

Behind the scenes: 3 video clips for ivault

There is no doubt that ivault will be of great use to individual consumers and businesses alike. Just take a look at the information given on the homepage, and find out for yourself. Here is some additional content:

The ivault video production gave me the chance to see a passionate team come together to make something truly innovative possible. With this blog entry you can take a peek behind the scenes of this fascinating project. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest videos. Lesen sie diesen Beitrag auf Deutsch hier.

Video of Arman Sarhaddar: How he started with the ivault blockchain app

New video of CEO Arman Sarhaddar: The pioneer provides us with a personal story about how he started his Zürich startup company Vault Security Systems AG and the idea of the ivault blockchain app.

It all happened pretty quickly. Urs called me one day and told me to get the camera ready for some videos we had to make. Something new was coming: ivault.

In short, he said, it is a global network for users to register assets, such as lost or stolen goods, to search for, and identify them on a blockchain. Companies, for example, can protect their supply chain against counterfeits and contraband. Medical technology manufacturers and luxury goods suppliers can all protect their supply chains. Insurance companies can use ivault to serve their clients better while speeding up claims processing.

So I came to Zurich, Switzerland, to get to know the team of Vault Security Systems AG. I have already been working with Urs E. Gattiker, Chief Operating Officer, for quite some time. He has a history of coming up with ideas, realizing them and executing them successfully – something called having a very good track record. Urs introduced me to Arman Sarhaddar, Chief Executive Officer and founder, the man who had the idea to create ivault in the first place. He got Lothar Rentschler to join the team. Lothar is now Chief Marketing Officer of Vault Security Systems AG.

These three have a clear vision about how to use ivault. They discussed with one another and myself how many different target groups could take advantage of blockchain technology. Art lovers, collectors, and manufacturers (of machines, medical technology, car parts and so forth), as well as consumers can better protect their products or possessions with ivault’s help.

In short, ivault is beneficial for pretty much everyone.

The meeting brought together a vast number of different ideas. Finally being in the same room together made it possible to unite interests and ideas in order to act in concert. It was as much fun as it felt productive to be a part of this. But let’s get to the point.

Why ivault?

 

In his video, Arman Sarhaddar wanted to tell us about how he got the idea to create ivault. He would have been glad to have a platform like this back when he got robbed and lost so many valuable belongings he loved:

Arman could have searched for his belongings on the blockchain, and ultimately, might have found the stolen items. It is possible for anyone to do so on thousands of computers, because once a transaction is registered on the blockchain, it cannot be changed or tampered with. Maybe the thief sold Arman’s wooden sculpture. If Arman had it registered on the blockchain, the buyer could have checked online, to see if the seller could produce proof of ownership. Without it, the thief could not have sold it. That is how easily fraud can be detected with ivault.

For businesses the use of the blockchain technology with ivault is even more effective. Any counterfeit product causes the manufacturer revenue loss. Plus, these products are not genuine and are likely to operate less perfectly than the original. Cheaply reproduced medication, which is not stored properly or uses improper ingredients hurts patients badly and can cause death. This all undermines the brand’s reputation. With ivault we are able to truly protect what’s ours – against theft and fakes.

I would have used ivault, too

 

As a cinematographer, I feel privileged to have made the first three videos for ivault. When we discussed what we wanted to share with viewers, I realized I would have been glad if the platform had existed two years ago. At that time, I decided to start my own venture while a full-time student. I purchased my first piece of equipment secondhand, a steadycam. But when it arrived, I noticed that it did not work properly and that it was a fake. I had a lot of difficulty getting my money back.

What convinced me personally about ivault, was that it would have been so much easier to check whether the genuine product was being offered to me at the time. Moreover, it would have been very affordable to invest in ivault and protect my money by first checking with ivault before buying the used camera thereby.

Of course, Lothar Rentschler knows even better what he is talking about when he praises the high market potential of ivault. And that is why you should definitely watch his video next:

ivault is the first global network to use blockchain technology for registering and identifying assets (such as lost items or stolen goods). It lets users register their items on the blockchain, search for, and identify them. In his video, COO Urs E. Gattiker gives you a short summary about:

  1. What is ivault and how does the blockchain work?
  2. What four business challenges does ivault address? Like authenticity and information security, records being encrypted, AND
  3. How does ivault make sure that no fake product enters a company’s supply chain?

In short, blockchain is an electronic database of transactions that is continuously updated and verified. It offers a verifiable, immutable, and public record of transactions such as:

  • stock borrowing and lending,
  • transfer of product ownership,
  • repair or warranty work on a machine using genuine parts, AND
  • electronic patient records.

This digital ledger of activity helps buyers and sellers to be sure that what they purchase is the real thing and not counterfeit.

So, what do you think? Have you ever used a blockchain? Do you want to try ivault, or do you still have some concerns? Have you ever had a problem ivault would have immediately solved? You lost something of great value or bought a fake product? It must have been very upsetting. Tell us about it, we’d like to hear your story. Join in the discussion and leave a commentary below. I will respond to you see soon.